Sustainable Tourism and the Culture Economy: Does Certification Matter?

  • Azmiri MianEmail author
Part of the The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics Book Series book series (ISBEE, volume 4)


Protecting cultural heritage and intellectual property is connected closely with Indigenous people’s efforts to overcome disadvantage and create sustainable communities. But certification and accreditation standards and expectations of a formal economy can impede Indigenous tourism operators’ capacities to build market share relative to non-Indigenous operators. In this chapter we discuss the needs for standards and certification, and how and if it translates to delivery of ethical cultural experience and sustainability for the enterprise and/or community providing the experience. We ask whether standards and certification provide support to Indigenous tourism providers. The case of Respecting Our Cultures will be explored in terms of whether it promotes sustainability and equity by improving the dialogues among government agencies, the tourism industry and Indigenous operators.


Authenticity Certification Culture economy Ecotourism Ethical cultural experience Fair trade Indigenous tourism enterprises Respecting our cultures Standards Sustainability 



I acknowledge this land as the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and that I respect their spiritual relationship ith their country. I also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the greater Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the Kaurna people today.


  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission [ATSIC], Australia, Office of National Tourism [ONT], & Pty. Ltd., F. (1997). National aboriginal and Torres strait islander tourism industry strategy (NATSITIS) (A. Ont (Ed.)). Canberra: ATSIC.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, T. D., & Buggey, S. (2008). Authenticity in Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Journal of Preservation Technology, 39(2–3), 63–71.Google Scholar
  3. Australia’s National Long Term Tourism Strategy. (2009). Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  4. Bramwell, B., &Lane, B. (2011). Critical research on the governance of tourism and sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(4–5), 411–421.Google Scholar
  5. Bunten, A. C. (2010). More like ourselves: Indigenous capitalism through tourism. The American Indian Quarterly, 34(3), 285–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bunten, A., & Graburn, N. (2009). Current themes in Indigenous tourism. London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries, 2(1), 2–11.Google Scholar
  7. Busch, L. (2000). The moral economy of grades and standards. Journal of Rural Studies, 16, 273–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Busch, L. (2011). Standards: Recipes for reality. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Busch, L., & Whyte, K. (2012). On the peculiarity of standards: A reply to Thompson. Philosophy & Technology, 25(2), 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chester, G., & Crabtree, A. (2002). Australia: The nature and ecotourism accreditation program. In M. Honey (Ed.), Ecotourism and certification: Setting standards in practice (pp. 161–185). Washington,DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ecotourism Australia. (n.d.). Summary of respecting our culture program 2009. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  12. Gooda, M. (2011). Indigenous designs, stories and culture are valuable sources of knowledge. Human Rights Commission media release. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  13. Hall, D. (2010). Food with a visible face: Traceability and the public promotion of private governance in the Japanese food system. Geoforum, 41(5), 826–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hall, C. M., & Weiler, B. (1992). Special interest tourism. London: Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hinch, T., & Butler, R. (2007). Tourism and indigenous peoples: Issues and implications. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  16. Hutchins, F. (2010). Indigenous capitalisms: Ecotourism, cultural reproduction, and the logic of capital in Ecuador’s Upper Amazon. In F. Hutchins & P. Wilson (Eds.), Editing Eden: A reconsideration of identity, politics, and place in Amazonia (pp. 3–37). Lincoln: University of Nebraska PressGoogle Scholar
  17. Indigenous Business Australia. (n.d.). Accessed 4 Aug 2012.
  18. Indigenous Tourism Australia. (2007). Indigenous tourism operators confirmed for first roadshow. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  19. Loconto, A., & Busch, L. (2010). Standards, techno-economic networks, and playing fields: Performing the global market economy. Review of International Political Economy, 17(3), 507–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. MacCannell, D. (1973). Staged authenticity: Arrangements of social space in tourist settings. American Journal of Sociology, 79, 589–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. MacCannell, D. (1999). The tourist: A new theory of the leisure class. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Macklin, J. (2012). Budget 2012 − 13 Investing to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. Minister’s Media Centre. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  23. Mowforth, M., & Munt, I. (2003). Tourism and sustainability (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Pomering, A., & White, L. (2011). The portrayal of Indigenous identity in Australian tourism brand advertising: Engendering an image of extraordinary reality or staged authenticity? Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 7(3), 165–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Raj, R. (2004). The impact of cultural festivals on tourism. Journal of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management, 4, 66–77.Google Scholar
  26. Ray, C. (1998). Culture, intellectual property and territorial rural development. Sociologia Ruralis, 38(1), 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Richards, G. (1996). Cultural tourism in Europe. Wallingford: CAB International.Google Scholar
  28. Richards, G. (2001). The experience industry and the creation of attractions. In G. Richards (Ed.), Cultural attractions and European tourism (pp. 55–69). Wallingford: CAB International.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richards, G., & Wilson, J. (2006). Developing creativity in tourist experiences: A solution to the serial reproduction of culture? Tourism Management, 27(6), 1209–1223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Russell-Mendine, G. (2007). Key factors for the successful development of Australian indigenous entrepreneurship. Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 55(4), 417–429.Google Scholar
  31. Sherry, N. (2011). Need for Indigenous tourism to target emerging markets. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  32. Stebbins, R. (1996). Cultural tourism as serious leisure. Annals of Tourism, 23(2), 948–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Taliman, V. (2011). Indian country taps international tourism market. Indian country today media network. Accessed 4 Aug 2012
  34. Thompson, P. (2011). There’s an App for that: Technical standards and commodification by technological means. Philosophy & Technology, 25(1), 87–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tourism Australia. (n.d.). Aboriginal Australia. Retrieved 4 Aug 2012.
  36. Tourism Research Australia. (2011). Indigenous tourism visitors in Australia. Canberra: Tourism Research Australia.Google Scholar
  37. Turner, N. J., & Clifton, H. (2009). It’s so different today: Climate change and indigenous lifeways in British Columbia, Canada. Global Environmental Change, 19(2), 180–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Urry, J. (2002). The tourist gaze (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Vivanco, L. A. (2007). The prospects and dilemmas of Indigenous tourism standards and certifications. In R. Black & A. Crabtree (Eds.), Quality assurance and certification in ecotourism (pp. 218–240). Norfolk: Biddles.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whitford, M. M., & Ruhanen, L. M. (2010) Australian indigenous tourism policy: practical and sustainable policies? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 18(4), 475–496.Google Scholar
  41. Whyte, K. P. (2010). An environmental justice framework for Indigenous tourism. Environmental Philosophy, 7(2), 75–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Whyte, K. P., & Thompson, P. B. (2010). A role for ethical analysis in social research on agrifood and environmental standards. Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 25(3), 79–98.Google Scholar
  43. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our common future: The Brundtland report. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Zeng, B., Gerritsen, R., & Stoeckl, N. (2010). Contribution of Indigenous culture to tourism development. International Journal of Culture and Tourism Research, 3(1), 165–184.Google Scholar
  45. Zeppel, H. (2001). Aboriginal cultures and Indigenous tourism. In N. Douglas & R. Derrett (Eds.), Special interest tourism (pp. 232–254). Brisbane: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations